The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, has described the sit-down strike declared by workers of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), as completely misinformed and misplaced.
He said, the ministry agreed with the leadership of the workers to meet on Tuesday to address issues of mismanagement and financial impropriety levelled against top management members of the bank, only for the workers to embark on a strike.
Speaking to the media in Accra yesterday, Mr Iddrisu appealed to the workers to call off their strike and resume duty in the interest of customers who were very apprehensive about the development.
He urged the workers’ leaders to follow due process to resolve their grievances.
Mr. Iddrisu denied allegations by the workers that the Board of the bank had extended the contract of the Managing Director, Mr Stephen Kpodzih, and urged them to produce such a letter to him for verification.
“I have not seen such a letter, neither has the Minister of Finance or the President,” he stressed, and appealed to the workers to call off the strike in the interest of customers.”
Meanwhile, the management of the bank has also described the sit-down strike by the workforce as illegal.
A statement issued by the Communications and Public Affairs Unit of the bank, shortly after the strike was declared, said, “Management wishes to inform the general public that the announcement is untrue.”
It assured its numerous and cherished customers and the general public that all its branches and head office departments were operating, and opened for business to customers.
The statement said, “Management’s attention had been drawn to stories in the media about a supposed illegal sit-down strike by staff of our bank being orchestrated by the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance (UNICOF).
“Management wishes to inform the general public that the announcement is untrue. We hereby inform all cherished customers that the bank is opened for business today, and all its customers are encouraged to enter any of our 78 branches to transact business,” it stated.
Both the General Secretary of UNICOF, Mr. John Esiepe and the Chairman of the Prefessional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU), could not be reached for their comments.
The ADB workers had accused management of engaging in financial malfeasance, and also rejected a bid to sell its headquarters in Accra and offload the bank’s shares.
The workers demanded the resignation of the Managing Director, Stephen Kpordzih and the board members of the bank, hence their action.